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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

So, the question is exactly the title. Is there a way of disabling the fake "8-speed automatic" shift points? I drove a 2018 Outback with them (you'll rarely see 8th, btw), and they are really well done, but I'm finding that I actually like the sometimes "one variable gear" feel of the CVT in the older Subies I drove (and the feel of the non-geared Tesla I tested).

So, yeah... is there a way to disable the fake shift points? A dealer programming setting? An end user "turn the key 5 times, flash the lights 3 times, tap the brake 4 times" secret code?

(wow, there's a bunch of neat "secret codes" for my 2010 Outback, apparently)

TIA,
Rob
 

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From what I've heard with "inquiries" on the Outback website, no, this is hard coded in unless you do some type of ECU aftermarket tuning. I'm expecting that in time we'll be able to have "performance" based aftermarket tunes, so I would expect that in time you would also have "efficiency" based aftermarket tunes - it's your money.

That being said it's possible that there could be a Factory (OEM) "ECU" update for people that have issues about hard shifting. That would be listed as a TSB, and only applied when the customer(s) complained about their driving experience.

But if that is a dealbreaker to you, I wouldn't buy the car expecting a down-the-road driving update.

I have one of the older Subies with the CVT (2011), and when I test drove the 2018 Legacy 3.6, I actually preferred the fake points. It seemed to hold onto certain rev ranges a little better and engine brake a little more aggressively. I enjoy both cars, for different reasons.
 

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This reason is why I love SI-Drive on our SJ Forester XT. With the different driving modes, you can pick between a "normal" CVT operation or the "stepped" programmed shift modes. To me, this would have been a good feature to include in the Ascent, but was likely not implemented due to cost and complexity. Journalists tend to bash the "normal" CVT operation, so the stepped feature feels better (a la standard automatic transmission) for most journalists and consumers, but obviously not all.
 
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But if that is a dealbreaker to you, I wouldn't buy the car expecting a down-the-road driving update.
Not a deal breaker for me just something that would have been nice to have.

This reason is why I love SI-Drive on our SJ Forester XT. With the different driving modes, you can pick between a "normal" CVT operation or the "stepped" programmed shift modes. To me, this would have been a good feature to include in the Ascent, but was likely not implemented due to cost and complexity. Journalists tend to bash the "normal" CVT operation, so the stepped feature feels better (a la standard automatic transmission) for most journalists and consumers, but obviously not all.
I like that idea of having the option. But I agree I think it is the reviewers who seem to not be able to get out of the idea of shifting that caused these fake gears to be there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
But if that is a dealbreaker to you, I wouldn't buy the car expecting a down-the-road driving update.
LOL, I've already got my off road permits, and bought a bike rack.

I have one of the older Subies with the CVT (2011), and when I test drove the 2018 Legacy 3.6, I actually preferred the fake points. It seemed to hold onto certain rev ranges a little better and engine brake a little more aggressively. I enjoy both cars, for different reasons.
I didn't particularly like the older CVTs. I just like those moments when they just operated as a CVT instead of trying to pretend to be an automatic. Currently, I drive a 2010 6MT Outback, so anything (CVT with or without shift points) is drastically different, lol.

...it just woulda been nice.

But, as I said, I was very impressed with the CVT in the 2018 Outback - it mostly felt like a real automatic. I hear the Ascent's is even better.
 
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